Comic Relief 97 part 1 – tape 2365

The end of the South-East news opens this tape. Some obligatory Red Nose Day fun, with ‘impromptu’ line dancing by staff at Heathrow. There’s a trail for Hamish Macbeth, then, Comic Relief 1997 kicks off. The theme is Close Encounters of the Furred Kind. Let’s hope that’s not the best joke on show tonight.

It opens with a large gaggle of presenters, including Dame Edna Everage, Pauline Calf, and Father Ted and Dougal.

Father Ted and Dougal present Comic Relief

Lenny Henry hosts the first hour, and he promises that if they raise £10,000 he’ll go and snog Anna Ford. Nice to see the spirit of the 70s is still alive and well at TV Centre.

Talking of TV Centre, Lenny takes a camera out of the studio and around the corridors looking for Anna Ford’s dressing room, which is lovely for all of us who miss TVC.

TVC Comic Relief

Naturally, when he gets to Anna Ford’s dressing room, it’s actually Peter Sissons.

Lenny Snogs Peter Sissons

There’s a Gladiators sketch. If that’s your kind of thing. It features (if I’m not mistaken) a young(er) Paterson Joseph.

Paterson Joseph


There’s a special edition of Only Fools and Horses.

The second hour is hosted by Dame Edna Everage.

Dame Edna Everage on Comic Relief

I’m not quite sure why she’s dressed in UKIP colours.

Coronation Street field a team for University Challenge.

There’s a Vicar of Dibley/Ballykissangel crossover.


Dame Edna’s matron of honour Madge Allsopp sings…

Madge Sings

After this section, we get the whole of the Nine O’Clock News, which leads with turmoil in Albania. Also, a young Rory Cellan Jones, then the BBC’s Business Correspondent reports on the failures of a privatised railway.

Rory Cellan Jones


Before the resumption of Red Nose Day, there’s a trailer for Hamish Macbeth, and for the rather unsavoury looking Have Your Cake and Eat It. “You’re the only other woman I’ve been to bed with in twenty years of marriage to Charlotte.” Yuck.

Comic Relief returns, with an hour hosted by French and Saunders, as last minute replacements for Anthea Turner, who comes in for some ribbing.

Throughout the night there’s the usual sketches featuring famous people. Anne Robinson plays Mrs Robinson in the Graduate.

Mrs Anne Robinson

Jeremy Clarkson learns some harsh truths.

Tim McInerney appears in a Question Time skit, with Jeffrey Archer.

Tm McInerney

Boyzone do a very boring version of Love Me Tender. Kylie Minogue appears in a special edition of Men Behaving Badly.

Kylie Behaving Badly

After the last Red Nose Day, when Dawn got to kiss Hugh Grant, this time she’s promised a kiss from Tom Cruise. However, that’s not who turns up at the end of the hour.

Kissing Anthea Turner

It’s Anthea Turner, there to respond to all the jokes at her expense.

Jonathan Ross and Griff Rhys Jones

Wayne and Waynetta Slob help out.

Mr and Mrs Wayne Slob

Helen Mirren and Robbie Coltrane do a Cracker/Prime Suspect crossover.

Prime Cracker

The tape comes to an end during a performance from Björk and Steve Coogan’s Portugese crooner Tony Ferrino.

Bjork and Tony Ferrino


BBC Genome: Part One – BBC One London, 14 March 1997 19.00

BBC News: BBC One London, 14 March 1997 21.00

The Genome page appears to have joined up the information for the news, and the second half of Comic Relief.


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